What if I told you that a single kilogram of bone would earn you £38,000? Would you do the trade? However, would you continue with the trade if I told you that this ‘piece of bone’ was in fact Rhino horn? The value of Rhino horn has reached extortionately high levels in recent years, only to be matched by elephant ivory where a pound of ivory tusk can be bought illegally on the Chinese market for over £1000. This is due to the fact that the demand for these precious materials is growing, yet the supply is running out.
Both the Elephant and Rhino species are under extreme threat with over 1,000 Rhinos killed by poachers in South Africa so far this year, and 3 elephants are killed every hour of every day in the region. This is truly shocking and devastating as these beautiful creatures could vanish off the face of the earth by 2025 unless practical action is taken immediately. Through my research I have looked at the pressing issue of poaching of both elephants and rhinos and discovered that this problem is extremely complex due to the nature of the trading market, the species and the environments they inhabit. Hopefully this blog brings the devastating effects of animal poaching into focus and uncovers new ideas for the conservation and protection of these species in unconventional and innovative ways which will enable these species to thrive in the environments where they belong.